Guide to a Jeeper's Garage
welder for your garage is not usually difficult, it usually
just requires you to know the kind of work you are going to
do. We are assuming that most of your work will
involve steel fabrication and repair for your Jeep.
Typically fabrication is on 1/4" to 3/8" thick steel.
First we will look at the kind of welders that are
Arc Welding (SMAW) - Also known as Stick. This process uses a
consumable stick that progressively becomes shorter as it is
used up. Typically more forgiving on rusted or dirty
metal. Requires moderate skill level. Stick
welding leaves more slag behind as the shielding material
vaporizes during the weld process. Low Cost.
Gas Metal Arc
(GMAW) - Also known as MIG. This is the most commonly
used welding system in the automotive world. It is
relatively easy to use and master. A wire is
continuously fed through the wand, this does not require the
welder to adjust position to compensate for a consumed
stick. An inert gas such as argon provides the welding
environment and eliminates any slag left over from the
welding process. Moderate Cost.
Gas Tungsten Arc
Welding (GTAW) - Also known as TIG. TIG is a manual
welding process that uses a nonconsumable electrode made of
tungsten, an inert or semi-inert gas mixture, and a separate
filler material. TIG welding can produce high quality
and highly aesthetic welds. It can be used to weld
very small material and many different kinds of alloys.
Flux Cored Arc
Welding (FCAW) - Similar welding method to MIG. Often
MIG welders and FCAW welders can be converted on way or
another. FCAW feeds a constant supply of material
through a wand similar to a MIG. FCAW will produce
some slag due to the consumption of the flux material during
the weld process. This type of welder is very
forgiving on dirty or rusted metal. Low Cost
surface should be clean and free of paint. If the
metal is rusted use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove as
much of the rust as possible. Only weld alike metals.
Galvanized steel or other coated metals should have the
coating removed before welding or weld spattering will occur
and the weld will be very weak.
MIG and Flux
Core welders allow the greatest flexibility in welding
One way of
classifying the "size" of welding power sources is measuring
how much amperage can be generated in a given "duty cycle."
Duty cycle is the number of minutes, out of a 10-minute
cycle, a welder can operate.
Think of a
welder as an investment into your garage. They can
provide years of reliable service. It is our opinion
to not skimp on a quality welder. Strong quality welds
are what is keeping your hard work together.
jeepfan.com Guide to a Jeeper's Garage